The people over at Gizmodo and Safer America have put together a stunning visualization of "The Human Cost of Construction". It is an amazing and often untold look into just how dangerous of a profession construction can be. Most of the deadliest construction projects were large infrastructure projects in the early 20th century. As would be expected, the Canals, Railways, and Tunnels took the top spots with massive numbers of human casualties. What's most alarming to me, however, is the World Trade Towers in New York City that were completed in 1973; sixty people lost their lives constructing the two towers, which seems unbelievable that this could happen in America only 40 years ago.
Safer America, in conjunction with the DAM firm, a California Law Firm, also put together a great website with a timeline that takes you through each of the construction projects. The data shows that construction has become safer in recent years, and that makes what is happening in Qatar for the World Cup (soccer tournament) so upsetting. Construction in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup started in 2012, and if the current death rate for the 9 construction projects continues as it is trending, about 4,000 people are expected to lose their lives. A sobering statistic, for sure. As of today, 1,200 workers have already lost their lives to heat exhaustion, long hours, and poor living conditions on top of "slavery-like" conditions. The Qatar World Cup has already been riddled with controversy and it looks as though it will continue.
The interactive timeline is definitely worth a look and can be found by clicking the link directly below called, "The Human Cost of Construction."
The Human Cost of Construction | DAM Firm
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Scissor lifts are on most typical construction job sites and they’re an often overlooked hazard. Too often, liberties are taken with the lifts that create unsafe conditions, which can cause injuries and deaths. OSHA recently released the results of their investigation of 10 fatalities and 20 injuries involving scissor lifts and released their findings in what the organization refers to as a “Hazard Alert.”
If you’re into heights, then China may be the place you need to be. The country recently unveiled the world’s highest and longest glass bridge and, as scary as many tourists may find that, it was way more dangerous while it was under construction. New footage of another construction site in the Laowang Monutains is giving that bridge a run for it’s money.
Since Construction Junkie was conceived in 2015, we’ve seen a lot of construction equipment flip for some really stupid reasons. Like this crane, this other crane, and this third crane dropping a bulldozer. Those are just some of the ones caught on video and they should be enough to convince you not to go out of your way to do dangerous things with a crane.
A portion of the Skagit River Bridge, located in Mount Vernon, Washington catastrophically collapsed into the water below after a semi hauling an oversized load clipped a cross beam in 2013. Luckily and amazingly, no one was killed by the incident, but 3 people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries as several cars fell into the river. It took over 3 years to determine a cause and the report states that there were several causes. First, below is security camera footage of the collapse, uploaded to Youtube by newschannel500, in which you can see just how quickly the collapse happened.
Cranes are a staple of many construction sites throughout the world, but they’re susceptible to damage caused by sudden bursts of high wind. Winds were blamed for the collapse of the New York City crane collapse that killed one man and injured 3 others in 2016 and again for the devastating crane collapse in Mecca, which killed over 100.
Much like the stories above, a crane collapsed last week in Dubai, UAE, after sudden heavy winds burst through town.
Tragedy struck a Florida construction company last week after 3 construction workers passed away while working underground below a newly paved road. Another volunteer firefighter is in critical condition, and possibly in a coma according to WSVN Miami, after entering the manhole trying to save the victims.
No matter how fun demolitions and demolition videos might be, there’s an inherent danger to performing them that cannot be overlooked. Just last year, a different parking garage collapsed during a demolition in Houston, Texas, which landed on one of the excavators performing the work. Thankfully, no one was injured in that collapse, but it could have been much worse.
The following is a guest post written by David B. Lever.
When construction sites are safer, then productivity increases as well as profits. More construction safety means less time lost due to accidents, lower insurance premiums, and less money spent repairing damaged equipment.
Jobsite pressures, such as time crunches and monetary issues can quickly tempt otherwise good people into making some pretty poor decisions. There are also others who use their construction business as a front for other illegal activities. Many people were arrested for a variety of reasons in 2016 and the list below should serve as both a reminder and a warning for those considering making bad decisions.